Friday's Uncorked Special Guest: Ken Coopersmith of Merry Edwards Winery
Southern Season invites you to join us Friday from 5 to 7:30 PM to meet Ken Coopersmith who will be signing bottles and sampling the wines of Merry Edward Wines.
Here is a bio of Merry Edwards.
At home in the Russian River Valley since 1977, Merry has explored its hills, pockets, slopes and hollows, discovering small sites where choosing the right rootstock, clone and farming techniques can produce exceptional grapes. This led her in 1996 to purchase land in the Sebastopol Hills region of Russian River Valley.
In 1997, she parlayed that property into a business venture allowing her to produce Merry Edwards wines from select Pinot Noir grapes in Russian River Valley. In this same year, she met her future husband and partner, Ken Coopersmith, while rafting in the Grand Canyon.
Ken was her helpmate in the installation of that first vineyard, Meredith Estate, in 1998. This was followed by Coopersmith in 2001. Long-term leases were then negotiated for Warren’s Hill, Flax Vineyard and Georganne. Although most of those earlier plantings were Pinot Noir, in 2014 new Sauvignon Blanc developments got under way at a new property in Forestville and on the lower slope of Meredith Estate.
At Merry and Ken’s new home property in Sebastopol, a Pinot Noir vineyard is being planted to Merry’s Clone, UCD 37. “I have always wanted to make wine from the ground up, and we are on our way to achieving our goal of being 100 percent estate-based.” An acknowledged expert in viticulture as well as winemaking, Merry also maintains close working relationships with the dedicated property owners, allowing her to influence the farming of Olivet Lane, Klopp Ranch and a small stable of excellent Sauvignon Blanc vineyards.
In 2006, after many years as a guest in other wineries, Merry and Ken began construction of their own Merry Edwards Winery, located at Coopersmith Vineyard. “This building project has been a necessary evolution toward attaining control over all aspects of our production, from grape to glass, following an estate model.” The 2007 harvest was entirely produced on site, and the winery formally opened for visitors in 2008. In 2010, the winery was expanded in order to accommodate the growing success of her barrel-fermentation program for Sauvignon Blanc, an important partner to her Pinot Noir.
In 2013, Merry’s 40th year as a winemaker, she was not only inducted into the Culinary Institute of America’s Vintners Hall of Fame, she also won the coveted James Beard Award for Best Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional in the United States, just the fourth woman to be so honored.
Reflecting on her many accomplishments, Merry advises novice winemakers to begin their careers with a dual degree in viticulture and enology. “Through experience and study, I have earned my ‘viticulture degree’ in the field. It is very important to me to do everything possible to obtain quality, and that begins in the vineyard, from the ground up,” she says.
Gardening, cooking, exercise and family balance Merry’s life. She is devoted to her country properties, where she and Ken nurture roses, fruit trees and a large vegetable garden. “I love beauty around me and enjoy creating my own environment,” she explains. Merry enjoys reading and likens favorite authors to favorite wines ― they are each unique and too numerous to mention. Merry raised two sons while successfully managing her career. Now she shares quiet moments and collaborative projects with Ken.
In many ways, Merry Edwards is like her wines — complex, balanced and memorable. An intricate blend of artistic vision, scientific training, spirit and grace, she leaves a lasting impression."
- Date: Friday, February 3rd
- Time: 5:00 PM